F-22 Milestones, Part 2

By Eric Hehs and Jeff Rhodes Posted 11 June 2012

The first part of this two-part chronology of the F-22 Raptor ended with the maiden flight of the first production version of the F-22 in 1997. This part ends with the delivery of the last production Raptor in May 2012. While that event marks the end of this series, the history of the F-22 program is still being written at the operational and training units, in flight testing of new capabilities, at the support centers, and upgrade and modernization programs that will come in future years.

The strategic significance of the Raptor has already come into play on several occasions, even though the F-22 has yet to see combat. Future adversaries will have to reckon with the combination of stealth, speed, maneuverability, and sensor fusion that the F-22 brings to the fight. The Raptor has fundamentally changed the nature of aerial warfare.


14 September: Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley makes the second flight of the first F-22 Raptor 01 (Air Force serial number 91-0001*) from Dobbins ARB in Marietta, Georgia. Beesley is the only test pilot to fly both the YF-22 prototype and a production F-22.

11 November: Popular Science designates the F-22 as one of the 100 “Best of What’s New for 1997.”


3 January: Raptor 01 is removed from the test rig after completing a series of structural tests in Marietta.

5 February: Raptor 01 arrives at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California, aboard a C-5 Galaxy from Westover ARB, Massachusetts. The F-22 was partially disassembled for the flight.

31 March: The first YF-22 prototype is enshrined in the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

17 May: Raptor 01 is flown for the first time at Edwards AFB. The 1.5-hour flight is the third flight for the aircraft and the first for a US Air Force pilot, in this case Lt. Col. Steve Rainey.

June: Engineers at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, conduct fit checks for the AIM-9 and AIM-120 missiles using the mid fuselage of Raptor 03 (Air Force serial number 91-4003), the third production aircraft.

29 June: Paul Metz flies Raptor 02 (Air Force serial number 91-4002) for its inaugural flight, which takes place from Dobbins ARB.

9 July: Boeing chief test pilot Chuck Killberg makes his first flight in the F-22. The flight marks Killberg as the first heritage Boeing pilot since the 1930s to fly a pure fighter as part of a development program.

10 July: The Air Force awards the Lockheed Martin-Boeing team two contracts for advanced procurement and program support for two F-22 Production Representative Test Vehicles, or the PRTV aircraft. The contract includes options for the two PRTV aircraft and six initial production F-22s.

30 July: An F-22 is refueled in flight for the first time at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB. The tanker is a KC-135 Stratotanker.

26 August: Lt. Col. Steve Rainey flies Raptor 02 nonstop to Edwards AFB from Marietta. During the four-hour flight, Rainey reaches an altitude of 28,000 feet and a speed of 325 knots.

10 October: An F-22 is flown supersonically for the first time during a flight from Edwards AFB. Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley reaches a speed of Mach 1.1 at 29,000 feet in Raptor 01 for Flight 31 of the aircraft.

23 November: Air Force pilot Lt. Col. David Nelson pushes the F-22 during a 3.1-hour mission to the 183-flight-hour mark mandated by the US Congress before Congress will release funds needed for long lead items for the first six Lot 1 production F-22s.

25 November: F-22 Block 1 avionics software is delivered for installation in the Boeing 757 Flying Test Bed.



11 March: Boeing begins testing the F-22 Block 1 avionics software package aboard the 757 Flying Test Bed.

29 April: The F-22 main and side weapon bay doors are opened for the first time during a single flight. The weapon bays on Raptor 02 contain structurally representative AIM-9 and AIM-120 missiles.

4 May: Jon Beesley flies Raptor 02 for the program’s 100th flight test sortie.

24 May: F-22 100 percent design limit load testing begins at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. Testing on the ground-based static test article, known as Raptor 3999 (or Article 3999), is completed on 25 September 1999.

20 July: Raptor 01 is used to demonstrate supercruise for the first time at Edwards AFB. Air Force Col. C.D. Moore flies the aircraft at Mach 1.5 for several minutes without the use of afterburners.

25 August: Raptor 02 is flown on a sixty-degree high angle of attack in a flight test at Edwards AFB.

18 November: The F-22 is refueled from a KC-10 Extender tanker for the first time.

21 December: Total flight test time for the F-22 program surpasses the 500-hour mark.



11 January: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan flies chase in an F-16 during an F-22 test mission at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.

late January: The Air Force announces that Langley AFB, Virginia, is the preferred location for the first operational F-22 wing.

6 March: Chuck Killberg completes the first flight of Raptor 03 (Air Force serial number 91-4003).

15 March: Raptor 03, piloted by Lt. Col. Bill Craig, is flown nonstop from Marietta to Edwards AFB.

10 June: The F-22 System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB is presented the Daedalian Weapon System Award in Tampa, Florida. The award is given annually by the Order of the Daedalians to the most outstanding weapons system.

28 June: The F-22’s AN/APG-70 active-element phased array radar is publicly displayed for the first time at Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, Maryland.

25 July: Boeing Test Pilot Chuck Killberg is at the controls of Raptor 02 for the first launch of an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile from an F-22 at the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California.

24 October: First launch of an AIM-120 AMRAAM from an F-22 (Raptor 02) is carried out at China Lake by Lt. Col. David Nelson.

2 November: Chief test pilot Paul Metz flies Raptor 01 from Edwards AFB to Wright-Patterson AFB where the aircraft will undergo live-fire testing.

15 November: Lockheed Martin test pilot Bret Luedke completes the first flight of Raptor 04 (Air Force serial number 91-4004), the first F-22 with a full-up avionics suite.



5 January: First flight of Raptor 05 (Air Force serial number 91-4005) is completed at Marietta. The aircraft is piloted by Boeing test pilot Randy Neville.

30 January: Raptor 04, the first avionics aircraft, is ferried to Edwards AFB by Col. Gary Plumb.

5 February: Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman is at the controls for the first flight of Raptor 06 (Air Force serial number 91-4006).

11 March: Raptor 05 is ferried to Edwards AFB by Maj. Brian Ernisse.

17 April: Paul Metz successfully launches an AIM-9 missile from an F-22 that is rolling at sixty degrees per second.

18 April: The F-22 fleet reaches 1,000 flight test hours.

17 May: Col. Gary Plumb flies an F-22 at maximum Mach for the first time (Raptor 03 at Mach 2+).

18 May: Raptor 06 is flown from Marietta to Edwards AFB. Full afterburners are used for the first time on takeoff from Marietta.

13 June: F-22 becomes the first tactical fighter to successfully launch an AIM-9 missile while rolling at 100 degrees per second.

23 August: Live-fire testing on Raptor 01 is conducted at Wright-Patterson AFB. The Raptor withstands a 23mm high explosive incendiary round fired at its fully fueled wing tank.

21 September: The first guided AIM-120 AMRAAM missile launch is successfully completed (Raptor 05).

15 October: Raptor 07 (Air Force serial number 91-4007) is flown for the first time.



5 January: Raptor 07 is ferried to Edwards AFB.

1 February: Lt. Col. David Nelson is at the controls for the first time a Raptor pulls nine g’s (Raptor 03).

8 February: Raptor 08 (Air Force serial number 91-4008) is flown for the first time.

17 May: The first airframe lifetime fatigue test objectives are completed.

21 May: The F-22 arresting gear system is tested at Edwards AFB.

28 May: Raptor 04 is ferried to Eglin AFB, Florida, for extreme temperature and environmental condition testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory.

7 June: Raptor flight test program completes 2,000 hours.

11 June: Raptor 09 (Air Force serial number 91-4009) completes dedicated ground-based logistics test and evaluation.

25 July: Lt. Col. Chris Short is at the controls of Raptor 03 for the first F-22 supersonic missile launch, an AIM-9 launched at Mach 1.11 at China Lake.

21 August: Lt. Col. Eddie Cabrera is at the controls of Raptor 03 for the first supersonic separation test of an AIM-120 AMRAAM at Mach 1.19.

17 September: The Air Force changes the Raptor’s Mission Design Series designation from F-22 to F/A-22, highlighting the aircraft’s multimission capability.

12 October: Raptor 10 (Air Force serial number 99-4010) is flown for the first time.

25 October: The 43rd Fighter Squadron stands up. The unit will later become the F/A-22 schoolhouse and the first F/A-22 unit at Tyndall AFB, Florida.

5 November: Maj. Jim Dutton conducts the first guided supersonic missile launch of an AIM-120 AMRAAM from Raptor 07.

30 December: Raptor 09 is flown for the first time. This Raptor is the last of the original Engineering and Manufacturing Development, or EMD, aircraft.



14 January: AF Air Combat Command receives its first F/A-22 (00-4012) when the aircraft is delivered to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

14 January: Raptor 09 is ferried from Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia, to Palmdale, California, where it will later receive modifications required for Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.

17 January: Lt. Col. David Rose becomes the first operational Air Force pilot to fly the F/A-22. The flight occurs at Nellis AFB.

19 February: Raptors 06 and 07 successfully demonstrate the capabilities of the Raptor’s Intraflight Data Link, or IFDL, a key component of the fighter’s avionics suite. Pilots Col. Ric Cazessus and Lt. Col. Art McGettrick are at the controls.

22 February: Lockheed Martin test pilot James Brown fires the F-22’s M61A2 Gatling-type gun in flight for the first time.

28 February: The F/A-22 program records its 3,000th flight test hour.

4 March: The first Raptor for Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation is delivered to Edwards AFB.

26 June: Raptor 02 is flown four times in one day at Edwards AFB.

29 August: Four test pilots from Edwards AFB perform the first F/A-22 four-ship formation flight and the first four-ship test of the IFDL. A total of seven Raptors in various locations are airborne for the first time.

1 September: The F/A-22 CTF surpasses 4,000 flight test hours.

22 September: Lockheed Martin test pilot James Brown makes the first rolling high-g AIM-9 shot (Raptor 03).

26 September:  Raptor 01-4018 becomes the first operational F/A-22 delivered to the 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB, Florida. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of the 43rd, flies the Raptor from Marietta, Georgia.

10 October: A formal acceptance ceremony for Raptor 18 is held at Tyndall AFB.

28 October: Raptor 20 flies for the first time.

31 October: The first local sortie for an F/A-22 takes place at Tyndall AFB.

15 November: Raptor 06 is used to complete the first F/A-22 Joint Tactical Information Distribution System interoperability trial with an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft. The trial occurs at Edwards AFB.

20 November: Pratt & Whitney delivers the 100th F119 engine for the Raptor.

24 November: The F/A-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB records two successful guided missile launches at both White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and at China Lake. Raptor pilot Lt. Col. Evan Thomas flying Raptor 05 downs a QF-4 drone with an AIM-120 missile at White Sands. Raptor pilot Lt. Col. Art McGettrick in Raptor 07 downs a QF-4 drone with an AIM-9M Sidewinder at the Naval Weapons Center range.

16 December: Lt. Col. Dave Rose, commander of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, flies an F/A-22 during a First Flight Centennial Celebration flyby at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flyby takes place the day before the actual centennial.



1 January: An F/A-22 Raptor, an F-117 Nighthawk, and a B-2 Spirit make a unique formation of Air Force stealth aircraft over the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California, during the national anthem at the ninetieth Rose Bowl football game. The Raptor pilot is Col. Joe Lanni.

9 January: The F/A-22 lightning strike test program begins at Marietta with Raptor 01-4022 used for the test program. Testing is completed on 19 January. The aircraft is later restored and delivered to Tyndall AFB.

14 January: Maj. Michael Hoepfner becomes the first pilot to complete F/A-22 transition training at the 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB.

23 January: The first multiple missile launch from two F/A-22s (Raptor 05 and 07) is accomplished at Edwards AFB by pilots Lt. Col. Dawn Dunlop and Al Norman.

6 February: Boeing pilot Fred Knox flies the first Raptor mission with two 600-gallon external fuel tanks on Raptor 02 at Edwards AFB.

9 February: The Raptor test program records its 5,000th flight hour.

3 March: The 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB completes a three-turn-three – three aircraft flying two missions on the same day.

18 March: Raptor 03 is used to carry out the first missile separation launches of an AIM-9 and an AIM-120 during the same flight. That same day, the first hot-pit refueling of a Raptor is successfully carried out at Edwards AFB.

19 March: Two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles are ripple launched for the first time from a single F/A-22. Lt. Col. Evan Thomas executes the launch from Raptor 07.

22 April: Fred Knox conducts the first F-22 in-flight external fuel tank jettison while flying Raptor 02.

23 April: Lt. Col. Evan Thomas in Raptor 03 completes the first separation test of a 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, from an F/A-22.

29 April: The Air Force announces the start of F/A-22 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, or IOT&E, at Edwards AFB.

13 May: Boeing test pilot Randy Neville lands Raptor 05 at Boeing Field, marking the first time an F/A-22 has appeared in Seattle, Washington, where its aft fuselage and wings are built.

1 June: Lt. Col. Dawn Dunlop, a 1988 Air Force Academy graduate, flies Raptor 06 over Falcon Stadium during graduation exercises of the Class of 2004.

7 June: F/A-22 fatigue testing is completed with Raptor 4000 (called Article 4000), one of two airframes built specifically for ground-based testing. The airframe reaches 2.68 equivalent lifetimes or 21,553 hours of spectrum fatigue testing.

10 June: Testing the F/A-22’s ability to roll and launch AIM-9 heat-seeking short-range missiles is completed. The F/A-22 rolling AIM-9 separation test program, a first for any flight test effort, included a total of seventeen launches across a wide range of conditions.

24 July: The F/A-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB successfully completes a mission in which a single Raptor ripple launches four AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Col. Joe Lanni flies Raptor 05 for this test.

27 July:  An F/A-22 is tested for the first time in Benefield Anechoic Chamber at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.

2 September: An F/A-22 drops a 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAM at Edwards AFB, successfully hitting its designated ground target.

September: F/A-22 IOT&E is completed. The Air Force flies a total of 188 sorties using six aircraft during the four months of testing.

9 September: The thirtieth F/A-22 produced (02-4030) flies for the first time.

14 September: The 325th FW at Tyndall AFB deploys six Raptors to Nellis AFB as a precautionary measure in anticipation of Hurricane Ivan. This large deployment is the first for the F/A-22.

23 September: Lockheed Martin test pilot John Fergione performs the first maximum flare release from an F/A-22 flying Raptor 07.

26 October: Raptor 00-4016 is used during the first ripple release test to drop two guided GBU-32 JDAMs on two targets several miles apart, successfully hitting both.

7 December: Maj. Evan Dertien launches multiple guided missile shots from a Raptor for the first time in a single mission. Four AMRAAMS are guided to within lethal range of four separate targets.

20 December: Raptor 00-4014 crashes shortly after takeoff at Nellis AFB and is destroyed. The pilot ejects safely.



7 January: Five Raptors (02-0032 through 02-4036) are ferried together to Tyndall AFB from Lockheed Martin in Marietta. That same day, Raptor 05 is flown from Edwards AFB to Langley AFB where it will be retired from flight status and used as a maintenance trainer by the 1st Fighter Wing.

18 January: The first F/A-22 for the 1st Wing arrives at Langley AFB. The jet is loaned from 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall AFB, the F/A-22 schoolhouse. The 27th Fighter Squadron commander Lt. Col. James Hecker flies the Raptor from Tyndall to Langley.

28 January: Maj. Charles Corcoran of the 27th Fighter Squadron makes the first F/A-22 sortie from Langley AFB.

January: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper joins the ranks of Raptor pilots after training for two weeks and completing more than fifty hours in aircraft systems and avionics academics, five simulator sessions, and three Raptor flights.

6 February: Raptors from the 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB fly over Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida.

17 February: The fortieth F/A-22 (02-4040) is flown for the first time.

February: The Air Force announces that the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center rated the Raptor “effective and potentially suitable” during IOT&E. The Air Force notes the operational effectiveness of the F/A-22 is “overwhelmingly effective.”

24 March: Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, is named the second operational F/A-22 base.

29 March: The Defense Acquisition Board approves full-rate production for the Raptor.

12 May: The 1st FW at Langley AFB receives its first operational F/A-22 Raptor (03-4041).

14 July: Maj. John Teichert drops a JDAM from the main weapons bay of Raptor 06 while flying at supersonic speeds.

26 August: The fiftieth F/A-22 produced (03-4050) is flown for the first time.

29 August: Members of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB fly the first F/A-22 Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation mission. They release Joint Direct Attack Munitions on the Utah Test and Training Range.

15 September: First planned landing of a Raptor occurs on the dry lakebed at Edwards AFB. The pilot of Raptor 06 is John Fergione.

15 October: F/A-22s from the 27th FS at Langley deploy to Hill AFB, Utah, for Combat Hammer Exercises. This deployment is the first for an operational F/A-22 squadron. The exercise includes the first supersonic drop of a JDAM by an operational squadron.

10 November: The sixtieth F/A-22 produced (03-4060) is flown for the first time.

12 December: Maj. John Teichert is at the controls of a Raptor making the first supersonic guided release of a 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAM.

14 December: Pratt & Whitney delivers the 200th F119 engine.

15 December: The Raptor achieves Initial Operational Capability. The 27th Fighter Squadron is officially declared IOC by Gen. Ronald Keys, commander of Air Combat Command. The declaration proves the Raptor is mission ready. The Raptor’s designation is changed back to F-22 from F/A-22.

27 December: The F-22 engineering and manufacturing development phase is completed. During EMD, the F-22 completed 3,496 flights totaling more than 7,600 flight hours. The tests included more than 26,000 flight envelope expansion test points and 3,500 avionics mission test points.



21 January: F-22s from the 27th FS at Langley AFB perform Operation Noble Eagle missions. The flights mark the first operational missions for the Raptor since achieving Initial Operational Capability

1 March: The Air Force announces Holloman AFB, New Mexico, and Hickam AFB, Hawaii, as the preferred alternatives for the third and fourth operational F-22 bases.

3 March: The first Raptors assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron, the second operational squadron, arrive at Langley AFB. The aircraft (04-4062 and 04-4063) are flown by Lt. Col. Dick Smith and Maj. Kevin Dolata from Lockheed Martin in Marietta to Langley AFB.

5 March: The F-22 participates for the first time in the Air Force-sponsored Heritage Flight formation training, which is held at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.

10 April: The seventieth F-22 produced (04-4070) is flown for the first time.

10 April: The F-22 appears for the first time in a civilian air show while at the annual Sun ’n Fun show in Lakeland, Florida. During the show, Lt. Col. Michael Shower performs F-22 demonstration routines as well as Heritage Flights.

14 April: The F-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB conducts the first flight test of the improved AIM-120D AMRAAM.

18 April: The first of eighteen F-22s arrives at Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB for minor modifications to the lighting in the aerial refueling port.

19 April: Raptor 02 is retired after being flown to Tyndall AFB. The airframe is to be used for maintenance training. Raptor 02 accumulated more than 1,200 flight hours in 671 sorties. The pilot is Lt. Col. Ray Toth.

23 May: The 1st Fighter Wing at Langley deploys twelve Raptors, eighteen pilots, and 174 maintainers of its 27th FS to Elmendorf AFB. This deployment is the longest to date for the F-22. The aircraft stay in Alaska for six weeks. During the deployment, one F-22 pilot achieves nine aerial victories on a single mission. The F-22, working with F-15s and F/A-18s, produces a kill ratio of eighty-three to one in one day.

17 August: The eightieth F-22 produced (04-4080) is flown for the first time.

20 September: The 43rd FS at Tyndall AFB—the F-22 Raptor schoolhouse—reaches the 5,000-hour flying mark.

27 September: Congress upholds the existing ban on international sales of the F-22.

16 October: The first F-22 to be assigned to Pacific Air Force (05-4091) is rolled out Lockheed Martin in Marietta. The aircraft will be assigned to Elmendorf AFB.

5 November: Four F-22 pilots from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB fly over FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, as Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne officiated the coin toss for the NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. The flyover takes place on Air Force Appreciation Day.

1 December: The F-22 officially replaces the F-15 as the aerial platform for the US Air Force East Coast Demonstration Team. Maj. Paul Moga of the 1st FW at Langley AFB becomes the first demonstration pilot for the team.



19 January: Brig. Gen. Burton Field delivers the last of forty F-22s (05-4085) from Lockheed Martin in Marietta to the 1st FW at Langley AFB.

3 February: F-22s participate in their first Red Flag exercises at Nellis AFB. The 94th FS from Langley AFB deploys fourteen Raptors and almost 200 personnel. The exercise also involves B-2 Spirit bombers and F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft.

12 February: The ninetieth F-22 produced (05-4090) is flown for the first time.

16 February: Twelve Raptors and more than 250 personnel assigned to the 27th FS at Langley AFB arrive in Kadena AB, Japan, as part of a regularly scheduled US Pacific Command rotational assignment. Kadena, on the Japanese island of Okinawa, marks the longest deployment to date for the Raptor (7,700 miles). The 27th flies more than 600 sorties during the three-month deployment. The aircraft return to Langley on 11 May.

27 April: Fighter pilots from Japan Air Self-Defense Force practice air-to-air combat against the F-22 for the first time. The joint exercise involves JASDF F-15Cs and F-4s and US Air Force F-15Cs and F-22s.

28 April: The F-22 performs its first aerial demonstration for the public as part of the Air Force East Coast Demonstration Team. Maj. Paul Moga flies the Raptor in its first public demonstration at Airpower Over Hampton Roads, an airshow at Langley AFB.

30 April: Raptor 03 is retired to the National Museum of the US Air Force in a small ceremony at Wright-Patterson AFB. The aircraft was one of nine aircraft built during the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the F-22 program.

8 June: F-22 Raptors support Space Shuttle STS-117 launch operations as part of Operation Noble Eagle.

8 June: The joint contractor and Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter team receives the Robert J. Collier Trophy in ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The Raptor is specifically cited for its performance in the 2006 Northern Edge military exercise. The award, which is given annually by the National Aeronautic Association, is regarded as the most prestigious award in American aviation.

20 June: The 192nd Fighter Wing, the Virginia Air National Guard unit now at Langley AFB, becomes the first Guard unit to fly the F-22 Raptor. The unit transitions to the Raptor from the F-16 and moves from its former location at the Richmond International Airport.

12 July: The 100th F-22 (05-4100) is flown for the first time.

8 August: Elmendorf AFB officially welcomes the first of its F-22 Raptor fleet as a six-ship formation lands at the base in Anchorage. The F-22s join the 3rd Wing and are assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron.

5 August: F-22 Raptors from the 1st FW participate in a second Combat Hammer Exercise at Hill AFB.

17 August: Raptor pilots with the 94th FS from Langley AFB fly a ten-ship formation in celebration of the squadron’s 90th birthday.

29 August: Lockheed Martin delivers the 100th F-22 to the Air Force. The milestone aircraft (05-4100) is assigned to the 90th FS at Elmendorf AFB.

5 September: Maj. Jack Fischer drops a 250-pound GBU-38 Small Diameter Bomb for the first time from a Raptor (Raptor 08) in a weapons separation test flown from Edwards AFB. The F-22 can carry eight SDBs with two AIM-120 and two AIM-9 missiles.

2 October: Air Force Reserve Command officially activates its first F-22 Raptor unit, the 477th Fighter Group (and the 302nd Fighter Squadron), at Elmendorf AFB. The 477th FG, which traces its lineage to the Tuskegee Airmen, is a Reserve Associate unit with the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf.

13 October: Members of the Air National Guard’s 192nd FW merge with the active-duty 1st FW during an official activation ceremony held at the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley AFB.

18 October: The Pratt & Whitney F119 engine exceeds 50,000 production flight hours.

19 October: The 82nd Training Wing, the Air Force’s maintainer schoolhouse at Sheppard AFB, Texas, opens a 120,000-square-foot facility.

29 October: The 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB officially activates its second F-22 squadron—the 525th FS, known as the Bulldogs.

22 November: Two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H bombers are intercepted and escorted by two F-22 pilots from the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB. It is the first operational intercept for the F-22.

12 December: Air Force Gen. John D. W. Corley, commander of Air Combat Command, declares the Raptor has reached full operational capability. The commander’s declaration means the integrated 1st Fighter Wing and Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing team at Langley AFB possess sufficient Raptors, equipment, and trained Airmen to be combat capable and deployable.



17 January: Raptor 03 is formally inducted into the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB. This Raptor is the first to go on public display.

2 February: Eight F-22s and 132 Airmen deploy from Elmendorf AFB to Tyndall AFB to participate in Combat Archer, a Weapon System Evaluation Program exercise. The Raptor deployment is the first for members of the 3rd Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 477th Fighter Group.

6 June: The third operational F-22 wing stands up in ceremonies at Holloman AFB. The 49th Fighter Wing’s 7th Fighter Squadron will be the first to operate the Raptor at the base in Alamogordo.

8 July: Air Combat Command’s F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team successfully carries out the first Raptor trans-Atlantic deployment. Maj. Paul Moga, demonstration team pilot, flies a practice mission on 11 July at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Moga flies the F-22 again at the Farnborough International Airshow on 14 July.

11 July: An F-22 pilot with the 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB carries out the first supersonic release of a 250-pound GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb.



25 March: Lockheed Martin test pilot David P. Cooley is killed in the crash of an F-22 Raptor (Raptor 08) while flying a test mission from the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB.

6 April: US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calls for phasing out F-22 production.

15 November: Six Raptors and 150 Airmen from Langley AFB participate in Exercise Iron Falcon, a multilateral training exercise in the United Arab Emirates. The exercise marks the first F-22 deployment to the Gulf Region.

21 December: The 8th Fighter Squadron at Holloman AFB receives the first of twenty F-22s. The 8th FS, established in 1941, has had no aircraft assigned to it since the F-117 was retired in 2008.



19 May: Maj. Drew Allen, a test pilot with the F-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB, carries out the first ripple release of four 250-pound GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs.

11 June: A YF-22 prototype goes on display at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB. The YF-22, previously on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, was airlifted via C-5 Galaxy transport.

9 July: Top military, government, and local officials formally dedicate two F-22s—appropriately adorned with traditional leis—in ceremonies at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, inaugurating the base as the newest home for the Raptor. The Raptors are assigned to the 199th Fighter Squadron, the Hawaii Air National Guard unit at Hickam.

29 July: The Air Force announces an F-22 fleet consolidation. While no final decision has been made, it is anticipated the 7th Fighter Squadron at Holloman AFB will relocate to Tyndall AFB. The 8th Fighter Squadron at Holloman will be deactivated and its aircraft will be redistributed.

8 August: F-22 pilots from Elmendorf AFB participate in Exercise Vigilant Eagle, a cooperative anti-hijacking exercise involving the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Russian Air Force.

4 October: Officials from the 19th Fighter Squadron, which had been based at Hickam Field since 7 December 1941, hold a realignment and assumption of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 19th FS is an active-duty Associate unit with the 199th FS, the Hawaii Air National Guard unit at the joint base.

26 November: Air Force Capt. Jeffrey Haney is killed in the crash of an F-22 Raptor (04-4125) during a night training mission from Elmendorf AFB.



18 March: An Air Force F-22 is successfully flown at supercruise speeds fueled by a 50-50 blend of conventional petroleum-based JP-8 and biofuel derived from camelina, a weed-like plant not used as a food source.

3 May: Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander of Air Combat Command, announces that the entire F-22 fleet will be grounded as a safety precaution. The announcement follows twelve separate incidents reported over a three-year period in which pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms.

12 May: Production of the 195th and final F-22 mid body is completed at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The fuselage section was loaded into its shipping container prior to an employee ceremony.

13 May: The 8th Fighter Squadron, the active-duty F-22 unit at Holloman AFB, is officially inactivated, marking only the second time in the squadron’s sixty-one year history that it has been inactive.

6 June: A pair of new F-22s (09-4179 and 09-4180) are accepted by the Air Force, marking the ninety-ninth and one hundredth Raptors that have been turned over to the Air Force on or ahead of contract schedule. The F-22s will be assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB. Raptor 4179 will be flown by pilots from the 94th Fighter Squadron. Raptor 4180 will be flown by pilots from the 27th FS. 

10 August: Lockheed test pilot Dave Ferguson passes away after a long battle with cancer. He was seventy-two. Ferguson flew the first flight and carried out initial airworthiness tests on the YF-22 prototype in 1990.

19 September: Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz approve an implementation plan developed by Air Combat Command officials to allow the F-22 Raptor to resume flight operations after a four-month stand down. Flights at all F-22 bases resume shortly after the announcement.

4 November: Lt. Col. David Piffarerio, commander of Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Fighter Squadron at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, becomes the first pilot to reach 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 Raptor.

7 December: Ten Hickam Field survivors and current Air Force Airmen and their families gather at the historic flagpole at Hickam AFB for the seventieth annual Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony. The morning ceremony featured four 19th and 199th Fighter Squadron F-22 pilots carrying out the Missing Man formation.

13 December: The final F-22 Raptor (10-4195) is rolled off the assembly line in ceremonies at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. This Raptor is scheduled for delivery to the 3rd Wing at JB Elmendorf-Richardson in May 2012.



9 January: An F-22 Raptor pilot from a training mission is diverted by officials at Holloman AFB to join two US Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crews from Fort Bliss, Texas, to help locate two hikers lost at White Sands National Monument. The Raptor pilot was able to positively locate the couple from the air. The hikers, along with their three dogs, were then airlifted by the Blackhawk crews to the National Park Service command post. They used a cell phone to call for help.

15 March: The final production F-22 Raptor is flown for the first time from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. Company test pilot Bret Luedke put the aircraft through a 1.5-hour initial airworthiness flight, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 1.5. 

6 April: Lockheed Martin test pilot James Brown becomes the second Raptor pilot to record 1,000 flight hours. His milestone flight occurs at Edwards AFB. 

2 May: The 195th and final F-22 Raptor (10-4195) is delivered to the Air Force in ceremonies at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. The aircraft is delivered to the 525th Fighter Squadron at JB Elmendorf-Richardson on 5 May.

30 July: Maj. Ryan Howland of the F-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB, California, was at the controls for the first supersonic AIM-9X launch From an F-22.

* Official US Air Force serial numbers are used to identify aircraft throughout most of this article. Actual aircraft carry only the last three digits of serial numbers, preceded by the fiscal year that particular aircraft was purchased.